A little over a year ago Mute recording artists (legendary and recent) all gathered at the Roundhouse in London for a weekendlong festival/celebration of the labels exceptional output. Audiences were treated to performances from classic heavyweights like Erasure, Nitzer Ebb, The Residents and future heavweights Liars…but one performance in particular was so unique and remarkable it resulted in a record.
A collaboration between Chris Carter and Cosey Fanni Tutti (of Throbbing Gristle and Chris & Cosey respectively) and Nik Void (of Factory Floor,) turned out an EP titled Transverse. One would half expect a noisey drone monster of epic proportions given the penchant and pedigree of the artists involved. And it’s not far off the mark. Transverse is noisy. And droney. And definitely epic. However, it is far from a monstrosity.
Split into 4 sections (or movements?) Transverse is a live recording of their sonic exploration that at times sounds like what I imagine a fetus hears as it’s floating in the womb and at other times sounds like a tiger pacing in a crystal cage hurtling through deep space.
It’s a dense, claustrophobic listen rooted in a steady and consistent warm rhythm that never abandons it’s heart or purpose. Even at it’s most noisy it is never unpleasant because (if you let it in) the captivating thing here is the sound of three individuals completely in sync.
– Mario Cotto